Enlightened Conflict

hope, reality, dreams & bravery

November 15th, 2014

reality and dreams



“A dream will always triumph over reality, once it is given the chance.”


Stanislaw Lem






Suffice it to say Hope is a pretty resilient motherfucker.


And I am glad it is.


Sometimes life beats the crap out of you.

And I mean REALLY beats the shit out of you.

dreams life terrible great

It beats you up enough that sometimes it makes reality take on some insurmountable size and shape … all but blocking out any sight of dreams.

And in doing so … by blocking sight to dreams the only thing a person can fall back on is Hope.



And that’s what bravery is all about.



In spite of everything.


In spite of all that happens, which by almost any measure would make you decide that hope & dreams are a waste of time, you maintain some hope.


In spite of all the shit that makes you begin thinking that time is better spent dealing with reality, you maintain hope.


I say this because, in the end, I tend to believe it is some version of bravery that keeps your head focused on maintaining hope. Because you have to be brave in some form or fashion to maintain some faith in something that can be difficult to see <especially if reality is standing in the way>.


You have to be brave to maintain some dreams you have.

You have to be brave to maintain some thought that there is something beyond the reality of the moment.




Reality is the inevitable.


The inevitable of Life <which is actually ‘things beyond your control’>.


What I mean is that some things are inevitable in your Life once someone else decides to pursue something in their Life … especially if their decision invokes some relentlessness.

And … in that ‘inevitable space’ … sometimes there are often truly no good solutions to the situations <not just problems … just regular everyday situations> that arise.


There are only bad and less bad solutions.choosing shit


And within that quandary it becomes even easier to lose hope.


Because that quandary most often is involving what is seemingly mundane everyday stuff … not the really big stuff. And when that happens you begin thinking … “shit … if I cannot even navigate the little stuff how the hell will I steer myself toward the big stuff <my dreams & things I hope for>.”



And you feel … well … fucked.


Fucked because Hope only provides an unclear future.


There are no specifics and no clear destinations.

And sometimes hope get additionally blurred by your desire to be able to see into the future.


But here is the deal.


Being able to see the future doesn’t make you any smarter or wiser than anyone else. And it certainly doesn’t stop you from making mistakes. All it does is to let you know what a problem is and how big the problem is … but it doesn’t give you any way to do anything about it.


Seeing the future just enables you to … well … see it … but you cannot do anything but deal with it.


And in dealing with it … therein lies the bravery.

Dealing with the daily battle to keep your Hope.


“I carry the battle in me.”



A Six Word Story



Each day, whether you pay attention to it or not, you carry the battle between hope and reality.


The battle is defined by bravery. That is the only way you win the battle.


I imagine the opposite is cowardice. And the thought that it is the cowards <or the ‘unbrave’> who give in to reality and let hope die <or lose>.


Frankly … I don’t like that. Nor do I really believe it.

I don’t think its cowardly.


I just think it’s … well … very easy to let the reality of Life grind you down. You can be the bravest sonuvabitch and still find your hopes & dreams being crushed.




I will say this.


You must be brave in the face of reality if you want your dreams and hope to even have a chance.


And if you believe such a thing as bravery is too daunting?

reality is negotiable




Remember this.


If you give hope a chance, even a glimmer of a chance, it will win the battle against reality.


Reality is, in the end, always negotiable.

testing your limits

November 16th, 2011

This one is a tough one to write. But let me begin with a quote:

“Life is a test of endurance, strengths, challenges and patience.” – Kim Hoth


We all have an inner strength that is difficult to assess until …. well … you actually have to access it.

But we ALL have that inner strength.  A source we would rather never have to tap into yet … we do … or we will.  It is inevitable in life.

Because Life is nothing if it is not consistent in that it challenges us.


And I also believe most of us are surprised not only by our own capacity when tested but also certainly when seeing the capacity of the others around us.

I was reminded of all this last evening.

And the experience reminded me that Life gives each of us different tests.

And the experience reminded me of perspective … perspective on what is truly a Life challenge versus what we sometimes believe is a ‘challenging life’.

And, once again, in self-reflection, the experience made me wonder “would I be that strong?”

Or maybe more importantly … “would I be strong enough?”


Here we go.  Envision this scenario.

(WARNING: this is short … but tough)

Your oldest daughter passes out in the shower at home.

She isn’t breathing.

You, the father, frantically give mouth to mouth while someone calls 911.

She is brain dead on arrival at the hospital.

She is dead the following day.

A blood clot in the brain in a healthy 15 year old young woman.

Dead at 15.

No warning

Your daughter is gone.

And you, the father, couldn’t save her.

(I am taking a break here)

I typed that fast.

I had to.

I type things out of anger.

I type things out of thought.

I type things out of frustration.

I have never had to type anything like that ever before.

And I had to do it fast and not dwell.

The words?

That is what my friend Mike actually experienced late last Friday.

Ok. He experienced significantly more, and still is, but from me, someone looking in from the outside that is all I believe I had the right to write.

I cannot envision being in his shoes.

I cannot envision the pain & emptiness.

I cannot envision the depth of helplessness.

I cannot envision the burden.

I am not a godly man.

At least not in the traditional sense.

I say that before I use this quote:

“Life’s a test. I was taught in church that the Lord wouldn’t put more on you than you can handle. But it’s getting heavy.” – Dusty Baker

I used Dusty Baker because Mike & I are not close friends.  We are ‘within work environment’ friends.  And we would seek each other out for our shared love of baseball.

And I imagine that the heaviness he feels today is close to more than he can handle.

“It’s getting heavy” as Dusty suggests.

I believe we all think life gets heavy on occasion as we face our day to day issues. I know I have faced some things and I know I have felt the heaviness of life. But I have never faced anything like this.

I know, for sure, we shouldn’t measure the heaviness on day to day stuff.

Maybe heavy is this scenario.

And that is the standard. Anything else is just light … a lesser burden.

He and his wife have three more daughters.

Will that lessen the burden?


I don’t know.

I don’t know how a father ever leaves the helplessness of not being able to protect, and save, his child.

I am not going to preach here.

I am simply going to remind.

No matter how hard you try to protect someone you love, sometimes you just can’t.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but it does mean you should value every day you have.

My thoughts are with you Mike.

Enlightened Conflict